Tuesday, 27 August 2019

YUDE-LEYB SHTSHEKATSH (LEON SZCZEKACZ ROZEN)


YUDE-LEYB SHTSHEKATSH (LEON SZCZEKACZ ROZEN) (April 18, 1910-May 11, 1971)
            He was born in Vyerushov (Wieruszów), Poland.  He added Rozen to his surname.  He received a fervently religious education.  He studied in yeshivas.  Over the years 1912-1931, he lived in Lodz, later until the beginning of 1939 in Paris.  He was a cofounder of “Poale Agudat Yisrael” (Workers of Agudat Yisrael) in Poland and was later also active in the Revisionist Zionist movement.  During a visit to Poland in 1939, he was trapped there and spent a year’s time in the ghettos of Lodz and Petrikov (Piotrków Trybunalski).  In September 1940 he fled to the Soviet border, where he was detained by the Soviets and later deported to Siberia.  Freed in 1941, he became a field rabbi in the Polish army created in the Soviet Union.  Over the years 1946-1968, he lived in Atlanta, Georgia.  He received a law degree from the local university there and went on to become a professor.  He published articles, reportage pieces, stories, and poems in: Der yudisher arbayter (The Jewish worker) and Beys yankev (House of Jacob) in Lodz; Yudishe arbayter-shtime (Voice of Jewish laborers), Der yud (The Jew), and Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper) in Warsaw; Hamshekh (Continuation) in Atlanta, three issues in Yiddish and English, served as editor; Forverts (Forward) and Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York; and Yidish tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Tel Aviv, editor from 1975; among others.
In book form: Der ershter mai, farvos m’darf im nit fayern (May 1st, why we don’t celebrate it) (Warsaw, 1930); Geṭo koltubanḳa, geshikhte funem proyekt tsu shafn a yidishn legyon bay der poylisher armey in sovet rusland (The Koltubanka ghetto, a history of the project to create a Jewish legion in the Polish army in Soviet Russia) (Paris and New York, 1951), 31 pp.; Yaades un religyes fun felker (Judaism and [other] people’s religions) (Tel Aviv: Nay-lebn, 1971); Fun eybikn kval, gedanken un aforizmen fun gedole hatoyre ṿehakhsides (From the wells of eternity, thoughts and aphorisms of the great Torah scholars and Hassidism) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1975-1976), 2 vols.  Among his pen names: Leybele der Kleyner, L. Nakhmanovitsh, A. Gelber, L. Ash, Yude Ash, Ben-Nakhmen, and Leon Rozen.  He published several books in English as well.  His books, Portretn (Portraits) and Yidish-frantsoyzish lern-bukh (Yiddish-French textbook), both typeset in Piotrków Trybunalski by Mesoyre Farlag in 1940, were destroyed by the Germans.  He died in Tel Aviv.
Berl Cohen


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